The average price for regular gasoline at U.S. pumps rose 8.38 cents in the past two weeks to $3.6746 a gallon, according to Lundberg Survey Inc.
The survey covers the period ended July 26 and is based on information obtained at about 2,500 filling stations by the Camarillo, California-based company.
The average, which reached a year-to-date peak of $3.795 in the period ended Feb. 22, is about 16.88 cents above the year-earlier price of $3.5058 a gallon.
“The increase comes from gasoline retailers passing through the wholesale price hikes that they received over the past several days,” Trilby Lundberg, president of Lundberg Survey, said in a telephone interview. “There isn’t anything on the supply front that would suggest another retail price hike of this magnitude.”
The highest price for gasoline in the lower 48 U.S. states among the markets surveyed was in Chicago, where the average was $4.10 a gallon, Lundberg said.
The lowest price was in Charleston, South Carolina, where customers paid an average of $3.34 a gallon. Regular gasoline averaged $3.92 a gallon on Long Island, New York, and $4.04 in Los Angeles.
Gasoline futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell 7.31 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $3.0444 a gallon in the two weeks to July 26.
U.S. gasoline stockpiles fell 1.39 million barrels in the week ended July 19 to 222.7 million, according to data from the Energy Information Administration, the statistical arm of the Energy Department.
West Texas Intermediate oil on the Nymex fell $1.25, or 1.2 percent, to $104.70 a barrel in the two weeks ended July 26.
Crude inventories fell a fourth consecutive time in the week ended July 19, dropping 2.83 million barrels to 364.2 million, a six-month low. Inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for WTI, fell 2.06 million barrels to 44 million, the lowest level since November.
WTI will probably decline this week on concern that weak economic growth will reduce demand, a Bloomberg survey showed.
Twenty-four of 38 analysts, or 63 percent, forecast crude will decrease through Aug. 2. Nine respondents, or 24 percent, predicted an increase. Five projected no change.
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